Dominion Energy Ohio’s monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) is decreasing for May.
The SCO price, effective May 15, when rounded to the nearest cent is $2.79 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).
The May rate is 14 cents or 4.8 percent lower than the April price of $2.93/mcf. It is 10 cents or 3.5 percent lower than the price a year ago of $2.89/mcf.
The utility estimates the average residential customer’s bill for the month of May would be $41.97, up $1.37, or 3.4 percent, from $40.60 in May 2018.
Newly reflected in bills after May 15 will be an increase of $1.43 on the fixed basic monthly charge. The charge was $28.14 and will be $29.57 per month.
That basic monthly charge is made up of three components, some of which have gone up and down, all approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO):
• A Basic Service Charge of $17.58, which covers the fixed costs of delivering gas to their homes.
• A Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement Cost Recovery Charge of $11.74 per month, up from the previous $10.23 per month. This funds a massive 25-year pipeline replacement plan, which began in 2008. The PUCO approved the incremental fee increase over a five-year period in a 2016 decision. The increases began in 2018 bills.
• An Automated Meter Reading Cost Recovery Charge of 25 cents per month, down from the previous 33 cents per month.
All customers pay the basic monthly charge and the usage-based charge to transport the gas to the home, and gross-receipts tax, regardless of whether they choose their own provider, choose the SCO, other Dominion rate, or participate in a government aggregation.
The usage-based charge will decrease after May 15. It is going down by 5 cents/mcf, rounded to the nearest cent, to 40 cents/mcf from 45 cents/mcf.
The usage-based charge is made up of several parts and the one for the migration rider, which recovers the costs to Dominion of balancing deliveries of gas to Dominion's system and customers' actual consumption, is going down.
Consumer columnist Betty Lin-Fisher continues to recommend the SCO. To read a step-by-step guide on how to get the SCO, go to www.tinyurl.com/updateSCO.
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/topics/linfisher.